We’ve all wished it before: you get that knock on the door and hope, just this once, that you’ll find an oversized check for $500,000,000 staring you straight in the face. More often than not, that knock usually ends up being the next-door neighbor’s kid, staring you straight in the face hoping you’ll buy a $5 box of cookies instead.
However, instead of a knock on the door, this time around, you’ve received a call from a representative claiming to be from the “Publishers Clearing House” (PCH) prize patrol. You take a second and think, since when did my opportunity for an oversized check become a phone call instead of a door-knock, away?
To assure you that they are a credible caller, they proceed to tell you that they’re “BBB Accredited”. All you have to do to redeem your prize is receive a prize packet, obtain a $500 gift card to cover taxes and fees and send it to them immediately.
Wait right there. Before you run out for that pre-paid card, there are a number of RED FLAGS you may have ignored that you should be aware of. Unfortunately, a number of consumers have been victim to this scam. Lucky for you, reports have been submitted to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In response, the BBB and PCH are striking back against the misuse of their names and warning those waiting for their PCH prize money with the following tips:
•PCH is FREE to all
If you are asked to wire or pay a certain amount before you can redeem your prize, it’s a scam! PCH sweepstakes are ALWAYS FREE, and will never charge you a fee if you become a winner.
•Keep your gift, don’t gift PCH
PCH will never ask you to pay, especially with a gift card or money transfer card to collect your prize.
•PCH is based on SURPRISE
For decades, the PCH Prize Patrol has based their mission on capturing the reaction of surprise from all of their winners. They will never call you ahead of time to let you know that you have won. You will know you’re a winner when you open your front door and come face to face with an oversized check with your name on it.
•The “Prize Packet” is filled with RED FLAGS
May we repeat, PCH will never contact you that you’ve won, or send you a “prize packet” before they’ve knocked on your door. Those who have received “prize packets” have seen that:
-The documents are filled with spelling, grammar and format errors
-The “Accredited Business” seal, along with a number of photos and and logos, are taken from the internet
-The PCH representative’s name has been spelled a number of different ways
•You can’t win, if you’re not in!
If you receive a call from PCH and but you never entered their sweepstakes, it’s a scam. PCH will never contact anyone who has not entered their sweepstakes.
So, for all of you PCH contestants waiting for that knock on the door, keep on waiting, it’ll come soon enough. Just remember, if you receive that phone call claiming you’re a PCH winner, it’s too good to be true!